1 Computational Linguistics

Identifying and Resolving Ambiguity

Parsing Strategies: Notes on Abney and Johnson

Abstract: Abney's Memory Requirements and Lexical Ambiguities of Parsing Strategies

Abstract: Marcus's Computational Account of Some Constraints on Language

Abstract: Earley's Efficient Context-Free Parsing Algorithm

2 Semantics

Philosophy of Language Questions and Answers. The argument from "Two Dogmas" supplies the "missing" argument in the case for the inderminancy of translation. The argument plays a role in the indeterminacy thesis because Quine's reason for thinking that independent controls do not exist in translation takes its force from the argument that there are no linguistically neutral meanings. The absence of linguistically neutral meanings is a prerequiste for the indeterminacy of translation. Read more ...

Pragmatic Accounts of Communication

Distinguishing Pragmatics from Semantics

Difficulties in Freeing Semantics from Pragmatics

Austin on Utterances

Schonfinkeled Characteristic Functions

Carnap's Intensionalist Approach

Donnellan: "Necessity and Criteria"

Difficulties in Freeing Semantics from Pragmatics

3 Sociolinguistics

National and Official Languages, a Distinction

The Sociolinguistic Variable

4 Syntax

Parsing Strategies: Notes on Abney and Johnson

Government and Binding Theory Basics

5 Theoretical Linguistics

Facts Are Getting the Best of Me!. "It seems clear that knowledge of grammatical rules is an essential component of the interactive competence that speakers must have to interact and cooperate with others. Thus if we can show that individuals interacting through linguistic signs are effective in cooperating with others in the conduct of their affairs, we have prima facie evidence for the existince of shared grammatical structure. One need not as the nineteenth-century normative grammarians did, and many modern educators continue to do, attempt to judge an individual's basic linguistic ability in reference to an a priori set of grammatical standards." -- Gumperz, [Discourse Strategies, p. 19. Read more ...

Hermogenes Was Right, Socrates Wrong. In Harris and Taylor's chapter on Plato's "Cratylus" in Landmarks in Linguistic Thought, Cratylus takes the position that the form and meaning of a word are inextricably related. For Cratylus, "everything," including Hermogenes, "has a right name of its own, which comes by nature" even though some people, like Hermogenes, are named incorrectly (Cratylus 383, as quoted in Harris and Taylor, p. 1). Read more ...

Insightful Remarks on Linguistics

Hierarchical Trees

6 Discourse Analysis

Interpretation and Indeterminancy. Throughout the essay, I will argue a hard line: the exact meaning of a speaker's utterance in a contextualized exchange is often indeterminate. Within the context of the analysis of the teacher-pupil exchange, I will argue for the superiority of interactional linguistics over speech act theory because it reduces the indeterminacy and yields a more principled interpretation, especially when the interactional approach is complemented by elements from other sociologically influenced methods, namely the ethnography of communication and Labovian sociolinguistics. Read more ...

A Wittgensteinian Approach to Discourse Analysis. This essay seeks to take Wittgenstein's influence on discourse analysis a step further by using his writings as the theoretical foundation for an approach to analyzing discourse that is distinct from speech act theory, which stems from the analytic tradition in philosophy, and to suggest that a Wittgenstein-inspired approach may actually be closer in spirit and content to that of an unlikely candidate whose views, in contrast to the analytic school, harbor a distinctly Continental flavor which has come to influence critical theory: Mikhail Bakhtin. Read more ...

Indoctrination and Resistance in Psychotherapeutic Dialogue

The Construction of the Double as Social Object.

Ethnomethodology: Core Principles, Concepts, Views. Ethnomethodology is "the study of common social knowledge, in particular as it concerns the understanding of others and the varieties of circumstance in which it can take place." -- Simon Blackburn, [The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, p. 126. Read more ...

Motivations for News Language Style: Audience Perception or Cultural Orientation?

Proposal and Readings for a Course on Educational Linguistics: The Acquisition of Literacy

For more on discourse analysis, see the discourse analysis menu.

7 News

Linguistics and Cognitive Psychology in the Media (old)

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